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[TV Review] ‘WWF Monday Night Raw’ 1.16.95 – Bret vs. Double J, Mantaur Makes RAW Debut

Commentators: Vince McMahon & “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels

The TekWar synergy continues on Monday Night RAW as William Shatner accompanies Bret Hart in his match against Jeff Jarrett. Mantaur also makes his Monday debut without his giant moose helmet thing and with a new manager, Mabel squishes a jobber, and The Million Dollar Corporation call their shot heading into Sunday’s Royal Rumble.

CHAMPIONS

  • WWF CHAMPION: “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel
  • WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION: “The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon
  • WWF WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Alundra Blayze
  • WWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Vacant

LINEUP

  • The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob Holly vs. The Heavenly Bodies (**)
  • Mantaur vs. Jason Ahrndt
  • Bret Hart vs. Jeff Jarrett (***)
  • Mabel vs. Lee Tobin

*****

-Vinny Mac narrates over a Star Trek-like opening video to hype Hart/Jarrett tonight due to Shatner’s involvement. It’s as cheesy as it sounds.


The 1-2-3 Kid & Bob “Spark Plugg” Holly defeated The Heavenly Bodies (“Dr.” Tom Prichard & “Gigolo” Jimmy Del Ray) [w/ Jim Cornette] (4:36)

Kid and Holly beat The Bodies over the weekend on Superstars to make it to the finals of the Tag Team Title tournament, so the latter is looking for revenge in this one and attack the underdog team right at the bell. Holly gets the tar beat out of him by Prichard and Del Ray, who are much better of a tag team than I remembered them being. I did not appreciate them back then but I do now. Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka, and Ted DiBiase show up midway through to watch the proceedings and scout. Holly counters a double clothesline by whipping Prichard and Del Ray into a double noggin knocker (something I have never seen before and was kinda cool), leading into a hot tag to the Kid. Kid does his karate stuff, Bodies try a double suplex but Holly tackles Prichard and Kid pins Del Ray with a bridging Fisherman’s suplex.

Kid and Holly live up to their underdog reputation by once again sneaking out a win and proving that they may just be able to pull it off at the Royal Rumble. Match was okay for what it was; it mostly just made me sad that The Heavenly Bodies never got a serious Tag Team Title run. Given the state of the division at the time it’s odd that they didn’t. (**)

The Million Dollar Corporation are not amused at the win and walk off not taking their opponents seriously as Kid and Holly celebrate in the ring.


-Vince & HBK interview Bret Hart and William Shatner who are standing by in the locker room. Hart brushes off the idea that he has any ring rust, saying his veins are full of fire. Shatner vows to make The Roadie pay if he tries to interfere, saying he will be “Roadkill”. Get it?


Mantaur [w/ Jim Cornette] defeated Jason Ahrndt (1:44)

Mantaur has ditched the giant moose head he made his debut with, and has for some reason gained Cornette as a manager. Cornette very much looks like he doesn’t want to be there and I can’t blame him. Mantaur wins in short order with a splash. The guy playing Mantaur obviously had talent but OH MAN that gimmick. The mooing sounds he made to be a man-animal were a real nail in that coffin. (SQUASH)


-THE ROYAL RUMBLE REPORT: Todd Pettengill here for the final Rumble Report on RAW heading into Sunday’s PPV. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer cut a promo on the former’s opponent IRS. Pettengill interviews Jeff Jarrett and The Roadie; Jarrett is not worried about his match with Bret Hart weakening him heading into his Intercontinental Title shot as it’s shored up.


Bret “The Hitman” Hart [w/ William Shatner] defeated “Double J” Jeff Jarrett [w/ The Roadie] (9:00 shown)

Hart controls the match early, connecting with an inverted atomic drop into a clothesline, and hanging onto an armbar despite Jarrett trying to escape via bodyslam and armdrag. Hart locks in a sleeperhold, Jarrett counters with a belly-to-back suplex and goes on the offensive leading into the commercial break

Back live Hart almost beats Jarrett with a sunset flip and launches into his usual moveset, including a Side Russian Legsweep and elbow drop from the middle buckle. Jarrett counters the Sharpshooter with a Greco-Roman eye rake but gets tied in the ropes. Roadie helps him out, allowing Double J to dodge Hart who goes full-force into the ropes with a crossbody attempt. Jarrett locks in the Figure Four, Shatner pushes the bottom rope towards Hart so he can grab it and force a break. Jarrett rolls Hart up with an O’Connor Roll, but Hart rolls through for the 1…2…3! Hart slaps Jarrett’s butt to add insult to injury. HA.

Good match for what it was, though having Jarrett lose heading into his Intercontinental Championship match is a CHOICE. But TV worked different back then so I think that’s my modern expectations coming into play. (***)

Roadie tries to get revenge and flies at Shatner, who side steps him like nothing. Shatner follows up by bashing his head repeatedly into the buckles and tosses him out to the floor, then celebrates with Hart. Props to William Shatner for being willing to get physically involved at the age of 60. This was goofy. I wonder if TekWar really got a bump from these appearances. I don’t think the show itself lasted long.


-AD: Diesel does his best to be a good Slim Jim spokesperson, but he’s no Randy Savage. Who was though? Besides, uh, Randy Savage.

-THE KING’S COURT: Jerry “The King” Lawler is joined by The Million Dollar Corporation (“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, King Kong Bundy, Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka, Irwin R. Schyster, & IRS’s Druids). DiBiase says the Royal Rumble will be the Corporation’s night and vows victory for all of his charges (IRS over Taker, Bam Bam & Tatanka winning the Tag Team Titles, Bundy winning the Rumble). He’s so confident he even says that it’ll be Bam Bam & Tatanka defending the belts against the returning Smokin’ Gunns next Monday. If only. The Million Dollar Corporation should have had SOME SORT of dominant run.


Mabel [w/ Oscar] defeated Lee Tobin (2:34)

Mabel shows off some hops with an enzuigiri and fights off Tobin’s attempts at offense to win with a legdrop. Longer than it needed to be, and the ADD camera angles/cuts during the post-match almost gave me a headache. Imagine a strobe light but instead it’s camera cuts. VOMIT. (SQUASH)


-After a commercial break Mabel is with Vince & HBK. Mabel says he will win the Rumble because he’s the biggest and baddest, bringing out King Kong Bundy who takes umbrage with this. Mabel wants to settle this IN THE RING but DiBiase stops Bundy from doing so.

-ROYAL RUMBLE AD: Diesel wins a tug of war contest with one arm, Lex Luger almost kills a dude by not spotting his weightlifting, The Bushwhackers run into a volleyball net, and Shawn Michaels leaves the two ladies he’s with, all because Pamela Anderson is walking around looking sexy. Ad even has a sultry female voiceover and porn sax. Gotta love it.

-NEXT WEEK: The Smokin’ Gunns face the winners of the Tag Team Title tournament match at the Royal Rumble. HBK says he’ll win the Rumble, then Vince takes it to a closing video highlighting Diesel much to HBK’s chagrin. That’s it!

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hart vs. Jarrett was good, but the rest is pretty forgettable unless you really want to see Mantaur. Since you’re a huge wrestling fan though I’m sure Mantaur is enough to check this show out.

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